Hello all! When I did my PaperArtsy round-up before Christmas, I promised you more details of the project I shared there. It was my task to select creations by the Designers and by entrants from three of the PaperArtsy challenge themes from last year - Niches, Sprays and Words. Then, time permitting, I had the option of creating a new piece which combined all three themes. Well, there's nothing like a challenge to get my mind buzzing, and this is where it took me.
These days I reach for old books more and more often, both for altering and for journalling. Book pages have always played a leading role here at Words and Pictures, and I've dabbled in altering books right from the very beginning - once I'd broken through the initial resistance to desecrating such precious objects. I've come to the conclusion that the unwanted ones and those which are falling apart deserve a new life.
I was inspired by Helen Chilton's use of a die to cut the niche in her book - I'd hacked mine out with a knife when I created my own first book niche, Her Light Extends, but it turned out not to be that simple. My book wouldn't fit through my BigShot!
I'd planned to use an Oval Mover and Shaper, but there was no way to get the thick steel-rule die and the book into a sandwich to go through.
I turned instead to a tag-shaped Thinlit, and eventually managed to get some pages cut by doubling the book back on its own spine so it was narrow enough to go through, placing one cutting pad a number of pages down and one over the top.
When I'd cut about 10 pages I gave up and finished the rest with my knife! The indentations left by the thin die on the opposite page also dictated some of what followed...
I started with a wash of gesso, and stamped the lovely birds and grasses along the bottom of the pages. I also used French Roast Fresco paint to deepen the niche with shadows as well as to distress the edges, drawing the eye inwards.
I then used Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky Distress Sprays, spritzing and wiping back, and then spattering ink droplets by unscrewing the lid and tapping the hose with my finger.
Since the coat of gesso is light and the ink is translucent, there's always a hint of the book page words to be found underneath.
I chose a Hot Picks image to go inside my niche. (Weirdly, though the Hot Picks are my joint favourite PaperArtsy stamps - alongside Lynne Perrella - there hadn't been a single one amongst my chosen projects in the round-up... so I needed one!)
He's stamped on tissue paper and glued into position.
I love how the Hot Picks tie in and echo one another.
How great is it that one of my favourite PaperArtsy stamps of all time - the birds and grasses, stamped along the foot of the pages here...
... are also there on the top of the Phrenology head from some of the latest releases?!
Despite all the words on the pages, I wanted some extra words to fulfil that part of the Niche/Sprays/Words brief. One of the trimmed out pages forms the word tag. I used it to mop up some ink and paint and then stamped and embossed the Tim Holtz sentiment.
The cogs and gears from some of the summer Hot Picks releases offer great corner and framing detailing.
And since they're there in stamped form, what more excuse could I need for adding them in metal embellishment form too?
The cover of the book was red until I gave it a few coats of soft brown paint...
... and there are some more of the grasses and birds appear along the bottom edges - stamped and clear-embossed.
I spritzed some Ground Espresso Distress Spray onto it which gave me a mottled distressed look which I really like...
... and I added some white spatter to continue the effect.
One of my favourite things about using old books is that you benefit from their character. This embossed figure in the cover is a beautiful detail...
... though that doesn't stop me adding a bit more character and antiquity for good measure!
So, a few more close-ups for you, and another project collected in to my virtual scrapbook here at Words and Pictures.
Over the next few months there will be quite a few "encores" going on, as I'll be away from my craft desk for quite lengthy periods of time. I hope you'll bear with me as I gather projects shared elsewhere for Design Team or Guest Designer duties and bring them under this one roof.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon.
A book is a garden, an orchard, a store house, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.
Henry Ward Beecher
Books are a uniquely portable magic.